By Jonk wa Mashamba
The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, has congratulated students who were successful in applying for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in the 2021 academic year.
According to a statement released by Nzimande’s department, 532 TVET college students and 52 992 University students did not receive NSFAS funding for the 2021 academic year.
5 376 TVET College students were unfunded because to their academic pathways are not funded as per the guidelines.
22 014 University students were unfunded because they have obtained their first undergraduate qualifications.
22 649 University students and 140 TVET students exceeded the N+ rule, whilst 88 016 TVET students and 8 326 University students failed their 2020 academic year.
A total of 3 university students were unfunded because their studies are funded by other bursaries.
Nzimande said NSFAS ensures that financial aid reaches the right and deserving students timeously through the new Bursary Scheme that gives effect to the Government’s vision to ensure that all academically-deserving students from poor and working-class backgrounds, who are admitted to study at public universities and colleges, are provided with financial support to obtain their first undergraduate qualification.
“Our bursary guidelines are based on the principles that student funding policy must be fair, rational, affordable and implementable. This means that the policy decisions are made to ensure that students are provided with the best possible support to succeed, taking into account the different circumstances of institutions.
“The funding must also be affordable within the parameters of the funding provided by government, with a focus on the need for sustainability of the scheme for the future,” said Nzimande.
He said the bursary scheme supports the goals of the National Development Plan (2012) and the White Paper on Post-School Education and Training (2013), to expand access to higher education for deserving students through financial support from the Government, and to support greater student success and throughput.
Nzimande appealed to all current and prospective students to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the funding guidelines to avoid being unfunded or turned down.
The spokesperson for the department of higher learning, Ishmael Mnisi, said that the minister has urged NSFAS together with all institutions to conduct information sessions with the South African National Student Union and all Student Representative Councils on these guidelines so as to minimize the number of students who are unfunded or unsuccessful in their applications.
“The Department of Higher Education and Training will continue with career exhibitions and information sessions through Khetha – the Department’s career development service,” said Minisi.